THE NEWS WRAP: WA still Australia’s top-performing state

Western Australia remains Australia’s top-performing state economy, according to CommSec’s latest quarterly State of the States report.


The report also shows the ACT is holding on to second place, with marginal differences between the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.


“We have seen improvement in Western Australia in things like the jobs market and also the housing market, so it’s still at the top of the leader board,” CommSec chief economist Craig James says.


“But we are seeing a transition of the growth leadership in Western Australia from the mining sector to the housing sector.”


Sporting goods the next big contest for Catch


Online retail giant Catch Group has announced plans to add sporting goods to its portfolio of retail websites, which includes group buying, groceries and baby products.


“We have circled a certain category in the retail space that we hope to launch in January or February,” co-founder Gabby Leibovich told The Australian.


“Sporting goods for Catch of the Day is the strongest growing category right now. It is a category we had not sold much of about 12 months ago, and right now it is our number one category. Fashion – shoes and clothing – is going through the roof.


“There are not many players that control that market and we certainly believe there is an opportunity there for someone to come in and shake it a little bit in only the way we can.”


Cheesy grins for Warrnambool shareholders as Bega looks to increase its bid


Bega is set to increase its bid for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter following a proposed change to the company’s constitution, to be considered at the company’s annual general meeting tomorrow.


The news comes after Murray Goulburn placed a $420 million bid for the company on Friday, trumping a $392 million bid from Canadian food company Saputo.


There is also mounting speculation New Zealand-based food giant Fonterra could launch a bid, with the company saying it is “actively looking” at the Australian dairy market.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.18% to 15399.65. The Aussie dollar is at US96.685 cents.


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